One of the most pivotal points in a weight loss or toning plan is to eliminate junk foods from your diet. But if you’re not careful, even some of the most nutritionally valuable foods can be damaging to a well-laid diet plan. Some of these stealthy diet-killers are misleading in their presentation — others offer a fair share of dieting benefits, but should be consumed in moderation. Read on to find out which six health foods can be detrimental to your diet when consumed without a mindful eye (or stomach).
Avocado is undeniably packed with healthy qualities, containing essential nutrients such as potassium, B-vitamins, and folic acid. However, like most foods, even a healthy fruit like avocado is best to eat in moderation.
According to the Telegraph, “a large avocado can contain as many as 400 calories.” Those 400 calories are the result of the fruit’s high monounsaturated fat content. This type of fat is beneficial to your skin and promotes a healthy complexion, but can be detrimental in high quantities to those who are meticulously counting their calories.
According to Health, nuts are generally loaded with heart-healthy fats, along with proteins and various vitamins and minerals. But just a few nuts can go a long way when it comes to staying true to your diet: With their sky-high calorie and fat contents, it’s best to restrain yourself to about a handful of this snack to tide you over until your next meal. This is a risky choice for people who can’t stop picking at their food — several handfuls of nuts could end up costing you hundreds of calories!
Additionally, be sure to avoid nuts with sugary or salty coatings — these could jam even more calories and unwanted add-ons into your diet. For information on which nuts are best suited towards the savvy dieter’s needs, check out what Health had to say.
Fruit is a relatively low-calorie option, and high in fiber, too — so don’t get us wrong you’re a lot better off packing this stuff in during a diet than you are with snacking on a Snickers bar. Still, dieters shouldn’t take the “nature’s candy” excuse as a reason to eat much more fruit than necessary, especially since fruit can be pretty sugar-laden itself.
According to Shape, fruit can be a weight-loss hindrance due to its high levels of the simple sugar sucrose. Additionally, fruit can be a hazard for those dieters taking a low-carbohydrate approach since a single “banana contains 100 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates. One apple can contain as much as 115 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates.” Carb-cutting dieters typically limit their intake to 100 grams per day. Fruit will fill that carb quota in a hurry, so try to diversify your intake. The helpful chart shown here can help you decide which fruits could be most and least beneficial in achieving your diet objectives.
This is another food that comes down to the eater’s discretion: Sushi comes in many different forms, and some are extremely low in calorie while also being high in protein. Still, it’s easy to get off-track when “special” and “signature” rolls offered by restaurants specializing in this cuisine. A simple salmon roll won’t do much harm — but start packing in cream cheese, avocado, spicy mayo sauce, or tempura flakes, and you’ve got an extra 50-100 calories per serving! Health warns dieters that those calories can add up quickly, especially given how easy it is to pop a few pieces of sushi in your mouth without thinking. Try sticking to vegetables and lean fish in your sushi rolls — these options will best serve your dieting goals, and are just as satisfying as they are delicious!
Not all smoothies are made alike, says WebMD. When it comes to this cool treat, it not always so obvious what you’re consuming — particularly if you don’t make it yourself. To avoid a costly diet mistake, be aware of what your smoothie contains before drinking it — some store-bought options pack in ingredients like milk with higher fat contents, flavored syrups, or ice cream. Options like these can quickly become more of a calorie-rich dessert than a health food, with calorie counts up to 600 per serving. Try sticking to smoothies made with fruit and nonfat milk. These options will be lower in calories and typically offer a generous amount of protein and fiber, which will help tide you over until your next meal.
6. Granola and Energy Bars
Many of us think that a granola or energy bar is a quick and convenient way to get a dense protein and fiber fix, without sacrificing any element of our diet. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. According to Cooking Light, “Many energy bars are filled with high fructose corn syrup, added sugar, and artery-clogging saturated fat.” These “snacks” can also be much higher in calorie content than our bodies need in order to maintain a sense of fullness. Sari Greaves, RD, nutrition director for Step Ahead Weight Loss Center in New Jersey tells Real Simple that many of these options are no better than “glorified candy bars.” Be mindful of your nutrition facts before you munch!